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Is Walking Better Than Using a Golf Cart?

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Kind of related. Talking to someone I was paired up with, and he said his club recently bought carts and it's not the old timers that were using them, they still walked, but the 20 and 30 year olds. 

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1 hour ago, 3jacker said:

Carts are something of an embarrassment to me, as a golfer.

Golf already has the reputation of being non-athletic, and on top of that we have out-of-shape middle to older men (the majority of players) driving themselves around in silly-looking carts, all the while claiming that golf is a "sport."

If the idea of walking 18 holes sounds daunting, you are in horrible physical condition.  You probably should start walking.

walking has a lot fewer cup holders

I don't really consider golf to be much of a sport in terms of fitness or 'typical' athleticism.  I tend to call it an activity, not a sport frankly.  I play for relaxiation and because it's just a lot of fun for me.

If I want to exercise, I go and exercise.  That's weights, cardio, yoga, or more intense sports.  (however, if one has nothing else, or can't handle 'regular' exercise for any reason, then I applaud them for using golf for that purpose - even a long walk is better than sitting on the couch).

The biggest benefit I personally seem to get from walking is that I tend to walk right to my ball and find it easier - which is weird to me.  But I guess if I have a feel for my distances, then the act of walking must calibrate better to me for finding the darn thing (rather than marking a line and driving to it.)  Also, I tend to just play to my ball and help the others less than I would if I drive.

Edited by rehmwa

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33 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

Isn't this the about the same distance as walking the whole course?

If each pace is a yard, 13,000 paces works out to be 7.4 miles.  I know the average step is shorter, but its still got to be 4 or 5 miles.  That seems kind of high to me, but I suppose its possible.

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Another vote for walking from me. I have always thought the game of golf was geared for walking. That, as long one's health allowes for walking the course. 

As we all get older, walking is one of the over all better exercises that helps us stay healthier. 

As for walking vs riding as far as pace of play is concerned, I never really thought about it. I can't control other's playing pace. I know on an empty course, I can walk 18 holes in a little over 2 hours.  Then again, a few months ago, on an empty course, I played 18 holes using a cart in well under 2 hours. 

I will use a cart as needed, and/or required. High, triple digit temps will have me in a cart. This, especially on courses with very little shade trees. 

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4 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

If each pace is a yard, 13,000 paces works out to be 7.4 miles.  I know the average step is shorter, but its still got to be 4 or 5 miles.  That seems kind of high to me, but I suppose its possible. 

I get between 17,000 and 20,000 steps when I walk a course (can vary more, depending on the course, and who I'm playing with). I'll get about 10,000 from riding a cart.

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I've gotten over 15K paces walking the Bethpage courses, I thought it was high at first, but after checking the number after more than a few rounds, that's about the average, a little more.

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39 minutes ago, nevets88 said:

I've gotten over 15K paces walking the Bethpage courses, I thought it was high at first, but after checking the number after more than a few rounds, that's about the average, a little more.

Yeah, I think pace counts can be misleading, lots of the movements when playing golf are pretty short steps.  I've used apps like MapMyHike to estimate how far I've gone, or at least how far my bag has gone, since I leave my phone in the bag.  Last time I did it, it was 5.7 miles, with about 500 feet of up and down.

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13 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Yeah, I think pace counts can be misleading, lots of the movements when playing golf are pretty short steps.  I've used apps like MapMyHike to estimate how far I've gone, or at least how far my bag has gone, since I leave my phone in the bag.  Last time I did it, it was 5.7 miles, with about 500 feet of up and down.

Also, golf and fitness pieces I've read typically estimate low 10K for a round, another reason why I was surprised.

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2 hours ago, Patch said:

Another vote for walking from me. I have always thought the game of golf was geared for walking. That, as long one's health allowes for walking the course. 

As we all get older, walking is one of the over all better exercises that helps us stay healthier. 

As for walking vs riding as far as pace of play is concerned, I never really thought about it. I can't control other's playing pace. I know on an empty course, I can walk 18 holes in a little over 2 hours.  Then again, a few months ago, on an empty course, I played 18 holes using a cart in well under 2 hours. 

I will use a cart as needed, and/or required. High, triple digit temps will have me in a cart. This, especially on courses with very little shade trees. 

I understand that walking on a golf course is considered a good thing...when you are young!  However, walking on a golf course or on any surface for 3-4 hours carrying a golf bag or pushing a cart with a golf bag versus riding in a motorized golf cart is the point of this thread that I re-started. 

Medically speaking, carrying a 25-35 pound golf bag on one shoulder or the backpack type on two shoulders is simply not good if you want to play golf when you are retired and are in your mid 60's to mid 70's and beyond.  I am encouraging my 23 year old granddaughter to use a motorized cart and her dad (my son) was finally convinced when he saw me go from a low single-digit handicap just 9 years ago to enduring countless months of rehab in order to play golf again after my 4th and final back surgery in 2014.  And now my knees are starting feel the strain.  Think about it.  Your knees support your entire upper torso--and that is a lot of weight!  Now add the weight of a golf bag.  It simply does not make sense!

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I personally prefer to walk and use my walking cart.  Walking is a great way to get cardio in and I hate doing cardio.  Plus, as someone mentioned earlier, the extra time allows me to think about my next shot.

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22 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Yeah, I think pace counts can be misleading, lots of the movements when playing golf are pretty short steps.  I've used apps like MapMyHike to estimate how far I've gone, or at least how far my bag has gone, since I leave my phone in the bag.  Last time I did it, it was 5.7 miles, with about 500 feet of up and down. 

My GPS unit actually keeps track of how far I go on courses. I've had anywhere from about 5.5 miles to 8.5. I may have gotten a 10 once, but that was in a cart, I'm pretty sure. The course I usually play is between 6 and 7, depending on how much I have to search for wayward balls.

Generally, my FitBit will say I've walked way more than that by its distance thing. That distance is normally pretty accurate for runs, so I don't know why I get way more steps than I should when playing golf.

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3 hours ago, Missouri Swede said:

Isn't this the about the same distance as walking the whole course?

Yes.  It is a little less than walking a regulation 7,000 yard golf course.  The point is the golfer is not carrying his/her golf bag or pushing his/her golf bag push-cart which adds signifiant stress to the back and the knees.  The entire point of this thread is to encourage anyone who wants to play golf in his/her later years of life...use a motorized golf cart now...while you are in your 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's!  Don't compare the golfers we see on TV.  They have caddies who are a lot more expensive than a motorized golf cart!

I certainly do wish I would have realized this several decades ago!

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I'd prefer to walk, but my home course is very hilly and spread out thru a housing complex.   So there are no quick walks from hole to hole and 11 of the 18 holes have decent upgrades on them to get to the green.

So I only walk on the 10% of times I play elsewhere, if it's a walkable course.

 

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4 hours ago, nevets88 said:

Kind of related. Talking to someone I was paired up with, and he said his club recently bought carts and it's not the old timers that were using them, they still walked, but the 20 and 30 year olds. 

That's because we old timers are cheap frugal. 😉

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5 hours ago, Archienc44 said:

I guess I should have made it more clear.  I walked in my teens, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and early 60's carrying or pushing a bag.  My back went bad over several of those decades.  Now, at age 73, I am able to play and actually walk over 13,000 steps going back and forth to the cart.  So, for me, it's not about getting enough exercise (I get plenty). It's about my back and knees wearing out...and they are!

Sorry, I should have been more clear, too.  My comments were directed at the  younger-to-middle-aged crowd (and non-disabled).  

Obviously, bad back/arthritis/etc.  would make for an exception.

13K is still pretty good!

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Yes

I've always felt the I can keep in better rhythm walking, than I riding. Some of the other benefits are that you can keep your line on an shot off the fairway better when walking straight on the line; you can play as fast or faster than in a cart many times by being ready to play and not driving to your cart partners ball first.

The biggest downside is less interaction with people in your group, and not as much ease of storage or access for your beverages, phone, laser rangefinder, spare balls, tees, a second towel, jacket or hat, and these days the hole layout GPS system.

I'd still rather walk

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With my city membership I walk for $5 and ride for $19. So three rounds of golf cost almost the same as riding a cart.

Number one reason to walk ... with a bullet.

Edited by mcanadiens

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Walk 9, ride 18.  I don't deny that I'm not in great shape but I also have a wonky back.  I could walk the entire course without swinging a club but when you add in pushing my cart and actually playing the game, sometimes I'm lucky to finish 9.

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